I started this road trip Thursday Sep 12th in Phoenix, AZ in the afternoon, and arriving to a hotel in Redlands, CA later that night which was kinda close to the venue, as well as decent and economic. The day of the show we arrived around 1pm to the San Manuel Amphitheater in San Bernardino, CA.
After we parked and enjoy a couple of cold beers and some tequila shots, we were ready to see some metal. The outside stage was already packed as Overkill was finishing their show with the sun right in their faces in a 100 degree weather, after that everyone got inside for the main event. The first opener on the main stage was the Swedish commandos of Sabaton, gave their best to the already crowded venue. Their set included material from Coat Of Arms, Carolux Rex, Primo Victoria, and The Art Of War. they had a great response from the public, and picked up new fans along the way.
Testament started to played, and the mosh-pits in the pit section and the lawn started to get bigger and bigger. They played the crowd favorites, and a couple of tracks out of their latest album The Dark Roots Of The Earth. After Testament the other big thrash metal band on this event was Anthrax, who played a curious set of classics including Indians, I Am The Law, and some cover songs, including a touching moment dedicated to the memories of Dimebag Darrell and Ronnie James Dio.
After Anthrax, as the temperature started to go down, the anxiety was getting higher almost pairing up with the number of people in the venue that was hitting already the 25.000. It was now Megadeth‘s turn to raise up the bar, and get the people ready for the main event. Megadeth played a well sorted set list with some of the fans favorites like Symphony Of Destruction, Holy Wars, and Peace Sells, they also included some songs from their latest album Super Collider. The change of stage after Megadeth felt like an eternity until we started to hear the first notes of Doctor, Doctor by UFO through the PA system, which Iron Maiden uses as a cue right before their show, then a brief video intro, then we all went back in time to 1988 as Moonchild was their opening song.
Every time I see Iron Maiden they have more energy than the last time I saw them, from Bruce jumping all over the place, Janick shredding like crazy at the right side of the stage, to Steve pointing out his bass guitar to the crowd and running and jumping from side to side of the stage.
Overall it was a great and long afternoon of metal, with a predominance of thrash metal, that conglomerated almost 80% of the metalheads living in southern California. It was great to see so many people congregate in the name of metal to celebrate many of this bands that are so influential to the metal community, and of course Iron Maiden who is pretty much one of the most influential metal bands for all genres after Black Sabbath.
Can I Play With Madness
2 Minutes To Midnight
Afraid To Shoot Strangers
The Number Of The Beast
Phantom Of The Opera
Run To The Hills
Seventh Son Of A Seventh Son
Fear Of The Dark
The Evil That Men Do